The minister of works and transport Eng. Monica Azuba Ntege said yesterday she was enthralled by the works done so far on the Mbarara Norther Bypass.
The road which bypasses the northern part of Mbarara City is hoped to decongest the city by providing an alternative route for large cargo trucks destined for Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, and DRC.
Works have been ongoing for two years now.
Minister Azuba was taken on a tour of the works from the Coca-Cola plant in Makenke through the entire stretch of 26.6km.
The minister praised the contractors, Chinese Railways Seventh Group, who told her they were likely to meet the deadline.
UNRA’s south western regional manager Benneth Kiganda says the road was supposed to be completed by 30th April 2017, which was however extended after government signed an addendum on 16th June 2017 for an additional scope of 0.9km improvement from Ruti trading centre to the Bypass after the district leadership pleaded for the same.
Kiganda told the minister that the contractors are left with little work to hand over the road in a few weeks’ time.
The minister was pleased that the Bypass has already attracted private investors who have started putting up improved constructions along the road, which include factories and hotels in areas of Kyamugorani, Kakiika connecting to Mbarara Masaka road.
The minister urged locals to get prepared and start producing goods that will be transported on the new road.
During the tour however, Minister Azuba was waylaid by angry locals who demanded clarification on the abandoned 2km section of Mbarara – Ntungamo joining the bypass.
Locals told the minister that the abandoned road has hampered their businesses in the area, which the minister visited and promised that it would be worked on.
The minister also visited the site of a wooden bridge in Katete, which connects Mbarara to Isingiro district and has been causing chaos inside the Mbarara district leadership.
The minister promised that central government would provide money to fully complete the bridge, which she said is among the 124 bridges surveyed by the team from the Ministry of Works and Transport for rehabilitation.
“I have already sent a team to look at the needs and designs; the project team is moving around the whole country, Mbarara inclusive,” she said.